Personal commissioning

“An extra pinch of challenge and an extra ounce of experience”

W‌ith a customer base spread across the globe, Bokela’s solid-liquid separation experts spent a lot of time on the road travelling from one customer to another. Be it for the commissioning of a new plant, or for the modernisation or complete overhaul of an aging filter. The “Filtration People” like to be close – to their customers’ requirements as well as to their filter solutions. Challenges arise – especially in times of a global pandemic – which cannot always be anticipated and therefore, ask for exceptional flexibility and expertise.

1 With such a special steam pressure filter - called BoHiBar at Bokela - naphthalene sulfonic acid can also be filtered, as in this plant
© Bokela

1 With such a special steam pressure filter - called BoHiBar at Bokela - naphthalene sulfonic acid can also be filtered, as in this plant
© Bokela
It certainly wasn’t a walk in the park for Jürgen Priwitzer, Head of Process Services at Bokela, who was in China at the height of the Corona pandemic to commission a filter system there – and was initially quarantined for four weeks after entering the country. For almost two decades, Priwitzer has been working all over the world, ensuring that filter systems for the mining and extraction industry, the plastics and chemicals sector, as well as for the food technology and pigments sectors, are up and running.

Filter modernisation in the Congo

Of course, there were several memorable moments and projects. Like his revamping assignment in the Congo. At Bokela, “revamping” means modernising and optimising old filter systems. The challenge here was that the work was protected by blue helmet troops in a country ravaged by civil war. As an additional difficulty, it was a third-party product from the 1960s. Breathing life back into this filter system, so that the same number of vacuum drum filters now perform twice as well as before, required sensitivity and extensive knowledge. In addition, the customer had to be involved to a special degree and improvised on site: “The circumstances also simply meant that the infrastructure or machinery which are taken for granted elsewhere were not available here,” explains Priwitzer. “At the same time, the cooperation was characterised by great harmony and a very positive working atmosphere. A unique project in many respects.”

Hybrid process as a special challenge

2 Same filter family, different application: drum filters with compressed steam are also often used in PTA plants and are convincing in terms of efficiency and economy
© Bokela

2 Same filter family, different application: drum filters with compressed steam are also often used in PTA plants and are convincing in terms of efficiency and economy
© Bokela
Priwitzer personally has a particular weakness for steam pressure filtration. This innovative hybrid process produces such dry solids that it opens up entirely new possibilities for product marketing through recycling of residual materials or substantial improvements in product handling and transport. “Pearlescent pigments, PTA, iron ore concentrate, fine coal. These are all areas where we can achieve outstanding results with a BoHiBar, i.e. a disc or drum filter for pressure filtration,” says Priwitzer. “These plants, especially when compressed steam is used, are highly complex. That’s why commissioning here is particularly fun. An extra pinch of challenge and an extra ounce of experience are crucial.” But he also regularly accompanies vacuum filters or dynamic crossflow filters with just as much know-how and thoroughness when they start working at the customer’s site.

Experts are at work all over the world

“The often complex plant construction, the spirit of innovation, from laboratory tests to the finished production plant. That’s what makes working for and at Bokela so exciting. But what is decisive for me is the close contact and exchange with the customer. There is nothing more satisfying than handing over a functioning plant in the morning after a long night of stress tests. And then drinking a hot coffee together to celebrate the success,” Priwitzer explains with a smile. Not surprisingly, he is looking forward to spending much more time abroad again soon, after the pandemic is over, to hand over filters to Bokela customers.

www.bokela.com

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